Coons lets bureaucrats cash in while taxpayers pick up the tab.

29 Sep

Chris Coons, as News Castle County Executive, wasted millions through overly generous sick leave policies for county bureaucrats.  Similar to the fact that federal bureaucrats make twice as much as the private sector, Coons ensured that the sick leave policy for county bureaucrats was completely out of line with the private sector. In 2009, a bipartisan group of legislators questioned Coons’ generous sick leave policies:

Councilmen Robert Weiner (R-Chatham) and Timothy Sheldon (D-Pike Creek), who voted against a tax hike in May, have called for a review of sick leave policies, which they say cost too much. ‘Our policy is out of line with what is done in the private sector,’ Weiner said. ‘It may have been done this way in government for a long time, but we can’t keep doing the same things.’” (Jesse Chadderdon, “Critics Take Aim At NCCo’s Sick Leave Policy,” CommunityPub.com, August 12, 2009)

Coons’ unsustainable sick leave policy allowed county bureaucrats to have year-to-year carryover of sick days.  It also gave a severance payout for retiring employees:

A flurry of recent e-mails between citizens, council members and County Executive Chris Coons’ office have raised questions about a policy that provides employees year-to-year sick day carryover and a capped severance payout for unused days upon ending employment on good terms. (Jesse Chadderdon, “Critics Take Aim At NCCo’s Sick Leave Policy,” CommunityPub.com, August 12, 2009)

According to CommunityPub.com, in 2009, $618,909 was paid out in unused sick leave to 40 retiring county bureaucrats.  In 2008, $1.2 million was paid out to 58 retirees.  In both cases, Coons made taxpayers pick up the tab for his extravagant pay out.

After being criticized for his policy, Coons declared he had no intention of ever changing the policy:

Coons said he has no intention of proposing changes to the policy, and has instead focused on other ways to reduce personnel costs — through pay freezes, changes to pension vesting, and increased employee benefits contributions. (Jesse Chadderdon, “Critics Take Aim At NCCo’s Sick Leave Policy,” CommunityPub.com, August 12, 2009)

Coons Abused County Pension System for Political Payoffs

28 Sep

According to Ron Williams in The News Journal, when Chris Coons served as the President of the County Council, he diverted untold millions of taxpayer dollars as payoffs to his political buddies and top staff.  Coons did this by exploiting a loophole in the county’s pension program.

The loophole was originally meant to attract new county police officers, but Coons decided to use it as a cash cow to pay off his political hacks:

It started as a legitimate way to recruit experienced cops onto the then-fledgling New Castle County Police Department. Municipal police officers with a few years service in say, Newport, could join the county force and get those Newport years credited toward a county pension. Then credited years were expanded into government service, still not a bad idea for high level, politically appointed executives who seldom accumulated enough time for a pension before the next administration came in. But then something went very wrong. The New Castle County pension plan became a cash cow for every political hack and hangers-on in various administrations. Come work for the county for a few years, purchase pension credits at your old lower salary at 5 percent on the dollar and retire at a nice fat pension on your new six-figure salary. (Ron Williams, Op-Ed, “NCCo Pension Plan Was The One To Die For,” The News Journal, February 14, 2007)

Coons likes to brag about how he closed the loophole, but, not surprisingly, he leaves out the embarrassing part where he grandfathered in his buddies, wasting untold millions of taxpayers hard-earned cash:

But as he wrote in an op-ed piece this week, Coons has closed the ‘loophole’ that contributed to that burden. First, however, he saw to it that his buddies and top staff people — and all six of the new County Council members and their staffs — were grandfathered under that loophole which has, and will, cost taxpayers millions of dollars.” (Ron Williams, Op-Ed, “NCCo Pension Plan Was The One To Die For,” The News Journal, 2/14/07)

Coons wasn’t just a member of the County Council when he decided to divert millions to pay off his buddies–he was the President of the Council:

[Coons] was president of the County Council, which spearheaded the effort to open the pension plan for employees who wanted to buy into it and apply other government time to their seniority.” (Ron Williams, Op-Ed, “Democrats Are Targeting Castle’s Seat,” The News Journal, February 18, 2007)

Given the propensity of DC fat cats to divert earmarks and so-called stimulus funds to pay off favored political constituents, is Coons really the right person to be sending to the Senate to continue his bad behavior?

Putting the “Check” back in Factcheck: The News Journal is Shoveling Puckey for Coons

26 Sep

If you want to meet the real Chris Coons this election season, you might want to think twice before relying solely on The News Journal.  In a recent so-called “political fact check” piece, The News Journal overexerted itself to find that–lo! and behold!–Coons is MOSTLY a man of his word while his opponent is “horse puckey” (actual quote….let me save you the search–puckey is serious-journalism speak for “dried animal feces”).

Let’s get a second opinion, shall we?

  • Is Coons being honest in his campaign?The News Journal doesn’t have to look very far to see how many “big ones” Coons has been telling recently…Hint for the News Journal Editor: look at your own reporting. (see News Journal articles referenced here, here, and here for just a flavor of Coons’ contradictions and tall tales).
  • Is Coons’ opponent a “puckey?”:  The example for Coons’ opponent comes from an email to supporters that details how Mike Castle voted to gut the “Pledge Protection Act of 2005″ by supporting an amendment to no longer give solid protection for the Pledge but leave it vulnerable to activist judges on the Supreme Court. The email is clearly about Mike Castle’s AMENDMENT vote, but when the vote tally (that even had a corresponding link to the AMENDMENT vote!!!) was included at the end of the email, there was a typo that referred to “bill” instead of “amendment.” The analysis of the email is 100% accurate, and the typo did nothing to change the true and factual point.

Why in the world did The News Journal pick out of the ether some tame example to judge Coons’ ability to speak [mostly] truth?   What motivated The News Journal to put a deceptive spin on the example for Coons’ opponent that is factually true but has an obvious typo?

We are faced with one of two conclusions: (1) The News Journal is in the tank for Coons or (2) The News Journal has a tank of manatees that selected the examples written on idea-balls then place them in a basket for News Journal staff to fish out and write their “fact-check” piece.

Factchecking Coons

26 Sep

Coons just released a new campaign ad making some interesting claims.  How about we do a little fact-checking of our own, shall we?

  • Chris Coons only offers more of the same: The ad claims Coons has a plan to change Washington. I think someone forgot to give Coons the memo about the plan:

CHRIS COONS: “I Think We Need A Democrat Who’s Going To Stand With Our President And Our Vice-President.” (Chris Coons, Remarks At Corner Eatery, Dover, DE, May 12, 2010)

COONS: “I’m Someone Who Would Broadly Support The Agenda Of Our President. … Somebody who is willing to work in responsible partnership with an administration that I think made the right choice on health care, on the stimulus, on the jobs bill.” (Chris Coons, Remarks At Newark Free Library, Newark, DE,  May 10, 2010)

  • Coons hired lobbyists that would have violated his original lobbyist ban proposal: The ad claims Coons will propose a plan to prohibit senators from ever becoming lobbyists:

Coons’ Original Plan Would Have Also Barred Senior Staff For Lobbying For Five Years. “Coons proposed a lifetime ban on members of the Senate from lobbying their former colleagues, and support for a 5 year lobbying ban on senior Senate staff.” (Chris Coons, “Delaware US Senate Candidate Chris Coons Proposes Lifetime Ban on Senator Turned Lobbyists,” Press Release, August 13, 2010)

“In His Role As County Executive, Coons Hired Johnson, Madigan (Later Peck, Madigan) To Lobby For The County. Several Of The Principals At The Lobbying Firm Worked Immediately Prior As Senior Staffers.” (Ginger Gibson, “Castle Campaign Criticizes Coons For Lobbying Position, Payments,” The News Journal’s Dialogue Delaware Blog, August 17, 2010)

  • Coons Accepted Campaign Donations From Lobbyists Working For The County: Even though the Coons ads wants you to think he is on a crusade against lobbyists, the deep pockets he has been shaking down tell a different story:

Jonathon Jones, A Partner At Peck, Madigan, And Tom Carper’s Former Chief Of Staff, Has Donated At Least $2,400 To Chris Coons’ Senate Campaign. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed August 11, 2010; Federal Election Commission, www.fec.gov, Accessed September 26, 2010)

Jones Joined The Johnson, Madigan/Peck, Madigan Firm In 2006, The Same Year He Ended His Stint As Carper’s Chief Of Staff. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed August 11, 2010)

Coons Has Received At Least $3,000 From Lobbyists. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed September 26, 2010)

  • Coons Would Vote For Harry Reid To Serve Another Term As Leader of the Senate: The ad makes a bold statement, “If we don’t have a Congress that works for us, we ought to make a change.”  That sounds GREAT…but Coons’ own mouth directly contradicts any hope of change he wants you to believe he stands for.

COONS: “My First Vote Would Be For Harry Reid To Be The Leader, And To Support, In General, The Administration’s Agenda.” (Chris Coons, Remarks At Candidate Forum, Wilmington, DE, May 17, 2010)

  • Coons Is Bought and Paid for By the Old Democrat Leadership: While the ad suggests Coons will “move in a new direction” and “the people we send to Washington are still part of Delaware,” is is painfully obvious where Coons’ loyalties actually lie:

Coons Has Received At Least $162,900 From Senate Democrats’ PACs, Including $10,000 From Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund. (CQ MoneyLine, www.cqmoneyline.com, Accessed September 26, 2010)

Harry Reid Called Coons His Favorite Candidate, And His “Pet.” “‘I’m going to be very honest with you — Chris Coons, everybody knows him in the Democratic caucus. He’s my pet. He’s my favorite candidate,’ Reid said.” (J. Taylor Rushing, “Reid: Coons, ‘My Pet,’ Will Win,” The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, September 15, 2010)

“A” for effort, but this is one campaign ad that just won’t fly.

Coons vs. Coons – He is his own worst campaign ad.

26 Sep

Boy, what 4-years of Coons can make!

2005: Coons Called The County’s Economic Health “Fundamentally Sound.” “While the county’s economic health is ‘fundamentally sound,’ Coons said, there’s been a widening gap between expenses and revenues in the past several years. His proposals would help avoid a projected $152 million shortfall by 2009.” (Angie Basiouny, “NCCo Exec Proposes Reining In Spending,” The News Journal, March 30, 2005)

2009: “‘We’re 18 Months From Being Out Of Money — Unable To Operate, Not To Use The “B” Word,’ Coons Said, In A Reference To Bankruptcy. ‘That’s where we are, and it’s at a time when many families are struggling, and they’re looking to government to help them.’” (Jeff Montgomery, “Sobering Challenges Reflected In Speeches,” The News Journal, January 22, 2009)

I wonder if the AP will ever fact-check Coons’ recent claim that he “restored his county to financial health and is ready to do the same for the federal government.”  If he is going to do to the country what he did to the poor folks in New Castle County, I think I’ll pass.

Was Coons Infatuated with Liberation Theology Too?

26 Sep

Thanks to President Obama’s 20-year spiritual adviser and pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, most have heard about the Marxist underpinnings of Liberation Theology.  It now appears Coons has had his own unexplained attraction to Liberation Theology as well:

Chris Coons and his support for Black Liberation Theology,” American Thinker, September 25, 2010.

*****UPDATED*****

From the American Spectator (Sept. 20, 2010):

The Republican Establishment and the Left having now made O’Donnell’s actions in her twenties an issue, the question comes round.

What was Chris Coons doing in his twenties?

Answer? He was in Africa volunteering for the South African Council of Churches, a group that holds to the self-same Black Liberation Theology philosophy preached by James Cone and Jeremiah Wright. The philosophy that has at its core the principles of “Marxism dressed up as Christianity.” The philosophy that is at the very heart of the Obama administration and its actions since taking office two years ago. The philosophy that Coons will undoubtedly all-too-eagerly represent if he is elected as an Obama Democrat to the seat once held by Obama Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware.

The Enterprise Blog gives even more insight into the “Marxism dressed up as Christianity” that Coons is attracted to (September 26, 2010):

Just how radical is Cone’s black liberation theology? So extreme that even calling it “liberal” would be a stretch. When I was a teaching fellow at Princeton Seminary, master of divinity students were assigned Cones’ book, God of the Oppressed. Many of these students thought of themselves as liberal theologically. But with few exceptions, even they could not stomach the sheer nuttiness and (frankly) anti-Christian fury of Cone. I concluded that for all but the most radical students, the best antidote to black liberation theology might just be reading Cones in a first semester introduction to theology. Stripped of its religious terminology, in substance it is basically Marxism with a virulent racial emphasis—not soft Fabian or Christian socialism. Marxism.

Like the Downward Spiral DC Statists are Dragging America? Then Vote Coons!

26 Sep

The Obama-Reid team quadrupled our debt and wrecked or economy. As Senator, Coons would ensure more of the same:

Coons’ Rhetoric Versus Record: You Shall Know a Tree by Its Fruit

26 Sep
“I’m not a Marxist, I’ve never held Marxist ideas,” [Coons] said. “I believe strongly in the free enterprise system and have worked hard for eight years in one of Delaware’s most innovative, private sector manufacturing firms and have a good and strong working relationship with the private sector as county executive.” (Politico 9/22/10)
Really?  When your TAX policy looks more like a Marxist than a free-marketer…..what does that make you?  Sure, you may have a “strong working relationship with the private sector,” but TAXING to death the private sector of New Castle County is not what we had in mind.

Text of Coons’ “Bearded Marxist” Coming-Out Essay

26 Sep

Having trouble finding Coons’ Bearded-Marxist coming-out essay?  Here you go by way of the Star Ledger:

Anyone can make mistakes as a kid. But O’Donnell’s errors have nothing to do with a theory of governance. Coons’ mistakes do – assuming he even thinks they were mistakes. He sounds in this youthful essay like every adult liberal I know today.

But maybe Coons has grown up and now realizes his past errors. If so he’s got a lot of explaining to do between now and election day. Here’s the essay:

“College is supposed to be a time of change, a time to question our assumption about the world and define our basic values. For me, the transformations of the last few years have been especially acute. I came to Amherst from a fairly sheltered, privileged, and politically conservative background. I campaigned for Reagan in 1980, and spent the summer after freshman year working for Senator Roth (of Kemp-Roth tax-cut fame.) In the fall of 1983, I was a proud founding member of the Amherst College Republicans. In November 1984, I represented the Amherst Democrats in a hotly contested pre-election debate against my former roommates, co-founders and leaders of the Republicans. As the debate progressed it became obvious how unreconcilably different our opinions had become. What caused such a shift in only one year?

I spent the spring of my junior year in Africa on the St. Lawrence Kenya Study Program. Going to Kenya was one of the few real decisions I have made; my friends, family, and professors all advised against it, but I went anyway, My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe a strange diet, or the tropical sun, changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear thinking Americans and sends back Bearded Marxists.

The point that others ignore is that I was ready to change. Experiences at Amherst my first two years made me skeptical and uncomfortable with Republicanism, enough so that I wanted to see the Third World for myself to get some perspective on my beliefs. Certainly Kenya provided a needed catalyst; I saw there poverty, and oppression more naked than any in America, and I studied under a bright and eloquent Marxist professor at the University of Nairobi. Nevertheless, it is only too easy to return from Africa glad to be an American and smugly thankful for our wealth and freedom. Instead, Amherst had taught me to question, so in return I questioned Amherst, and America.

When I first arrived at Amherst, I was somewhat of a Republican fanatic. I fit Churchill’s description, namely, that a fanatic is “Someone who can’t change their mind, and won’t change the subject.” While other freshman share care packages from home, I was equally generous with my inherited political opinions giving them to anyone who would listen. It was in this manner that I soon met a creature I had never known before—a Democrat, several of them. Some of the “Leftists” that I met early on were terrifyingly persuasive, although I never admitted that. A few became my friends and provided a constant nagging backdrop of doubt, for which I am now grateful.

More importantly, during sophomore year, several professors challenged the basic assumptions about America and the world relations with which I had grown up. Cultural Anthropology inspired a fascination with other peoples, and undermined the accepted value of progress and the cultural superiority of the West. In examining the role of myths in “primitive” cultures, we also studied the myth of equal opportunity in this country, a myth I had never questioned. A course on the Vietnam War painted in gory detail a picture of horrible failures made possible by American hubris and dogmatism. I came to suspect, through these and other courses, that the ideal of America as “a beacon of freedom and justice, providing hope for the world” was not exactly based in reality. So, I went to Africa, hungry for a break from Amherst and eager to gain some broader political insight from the brutally real world. What do other nations think of us? Can private enterprise and democracy solve the problems of developing nations? Is Marxism an evil ideology, leading millions into totalitarian slavery? These were some of the questions in the back of my mind as I left for Kenya.

What I learned in Africa unsettled me. I saw the deprivation and oppression of the poor and the politically disfavored in a way not possible in the U.S. In Kenya, my position was not at stake; I was not directly benefiting if the underprivileged had little hope of advancement. I lived with the struggling African family for a month and came to know the hardships that they face. What surprised me was the attitude of the elite; I became friends with a very wealthy businessman and his family and heard them reiterate the same beliefs held by many Americans; the poor are poor because they are lazy, slovenly, uneducated. “Kenya is a land of opportunity,” they said, “those who work receive their just reward.” I knew this was not true in the case of many black Kenyans; this story merely served to justify the position of many who had done well only by working for the British colonialists. I realize that Kenya and America are very different, but experiences like this warned me that my own favorite beliefs in the miracles of free enterprise and the boundless opportunity to be had in America might be largely untrue.

When I returned last summer, I traveled all over the East Coast and saw in many ways a different America. Upon arriving at Amherst this fall, I felt like a freshman at an unfamiliar school all over again. Many of the questions raised by my experiences of the last year remained unanswered. I have spent my senior year reexamining my ideas and have returned to loving America, but in the way of one who has realized its faults and failures and still believes in its promise. The greatest value of Amherst for me, then, has been the role it played in allowing me to question, and to think. I had to see the slums of Nairobi before the slums of New York meant anything at all, but with out the experiences of Amherst, I never would have seen either.”

Even Seniors Not Safe From Coons Tax Addiction

25 Sep

Chris Coons lust for taxes seems to know no bounds.  Even DE seniors are unsafe in his wake:

New Castle County Council members are expected to vote Tuesday on legislation that would reduce future property tax exemptions for senior citizens and the disabled. … County Executive Chris Coons said he supports the ordinance because it doesn’t eliminate the exemption entirely, which was the recommendation of a task force convened last year to examine county finances. (Angie Basiouny, “NCCo Tax Exemption Cuts Up For Vote,” The News Journal, September 10, 2007)

The county’s senior tax exemption, which is $50,000 for those older than 65 who qualify, helps cushion the impact of a tax increase for older residents. Their tax bill would rise an average of $18 a year, under the proposal. (Angie Basiouny, “17 Percent Tax Hike Proposed For NCCo,” The News Journal, March 21, 2007)

But his determination to raise taxes on seniors is a bit ironic considering how, a couple of years earlier, he tried to take credit for the tax exemptions for seniors–even though he wasn’t even in office when the exemption was enacted:

Mr. Gordon’s press office had good reason to criticize. Mr. Coons tried to take credit for expanding the county’s senior citizen property tax exemption, which was enacted before he even took office. Mr. Coons tried to wiggle out of that confrontation by saying he ‘fought for the exemption,’ which is different from passing it. (Editorial, “Press Advantages,” The News Journal, September 10, 2004)

It looks like Coons will say anything to get elected as long as he can still raise taxes once in office.

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